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Postal Service Reports Thousands of Mail Carrier Attacks, Urges Responsible Pet Ownership

Man’s faithful companion doesn’t always extend the same courtesy to mail carriers, and the United States Postal Service (USPS) has witnessed over 5,300 incidents of employee attacks while delivering mail last year, identifying aggressive dog behavior as a significant safety concern.

Houston emerged as the city with the highest number of dog attacks on mail carriers in 2022, with a staggering 57 incidents. Let’s take a closer look at how the city compares to the top 10:

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  1. Houston: 57
  2. Los Angeles: 48
  3. Dallas: 44
  4. Cleveland: 43
  5. San Diego: 39
  6. Chicago: 36
  7. St. Louis: 34
  8. Kansas City: 33
  9. Phoenix: 32 (tie)
  10. San Antonio: 32 (tie)

California experienced the highest number of such attacks among states, with 675 cases in 2022, marking an increase of 19 compared to the previous year. Here are the top 10 states with the most dog attacks on mail carriers in 2022:

  1. California: 675
  2. Texas: 404
  3. New York: 321
  4. Pennsylvania: 313
  5. Ohio: 311
  6. Illinois: 245
  7. Florida: 220
  8. Michigan: 206
  9. Missouri: 166
  10. North Carolina: 146

The USPS has launched a campaign urging dog owners to contribute to the safety of mail carriers. National Dog Attack Awareness Week, running from Sunday to Saturday, June 10, emphasizes the theme “Even good dogs have bad days.”

Linda DeCarlo, USPS Occupational Safety and Health Senior Director, emphasizes the need for responsible pet ownership, stating, “When our mail carriers are bitten, it is usually a ‘good dog’ that had not previously behaved in a menacing way. In 2022, too many aggressive dogs impacted the lives of our employees while delivering the mail. Please help us reduce that number by being a responsible pet owner who secures their dog as we deliver the mail.”

To assist dog owners, the USPS provides several tips, including securing dogs before the mail carrier’s regular arrival time to minimize potential hazards. Suggestions include keeping dogs indoors, behind fences, away from the door, in separate rooms, or on leashes in anticipation of mail delivery.

USPS carriers are trained to respect a dog’s territory, avoid startling them, make noise or rattle fences as a signal when entering a yard, and employ other techniques. They are also instructed to use a mail satchel or other objects as a barrier during an attack and utilize dog repellent if necessary.

In cases where carriers feel unsafe, the USPS has implemented a measure allowing them to suspend mail service to specific dog owners and potentially entire neighborhoods. Affected individuals must then collect their mail at their local post office.

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